When bed bug heat treatment is done properly, it has a 100% success rate. If the professional pest control service you hired takes their time and is thorough with their job, all of the bed bugs and their eggs can be killed using heat treatment.
What is heat treatment?
Whole room heat treatments involve bringing special equipment into your house to raise the temperature. The ideal temperature to be maintained for a few hours is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature where bed bugs and bed bug eggs will die. Thermometers will be placed in different areas of your house to make sure that the increase in temperature is felt throughout your house. All of the room should reach the optimal temperature so all the bed bugs inside the house are killed. The entire process typically takes between six to eight hours to complete.
During the process, all of the people, pets, and any heat-sensitive items are removed. The heat-sensitive items have to be treated some other way before bringing them back inside the house.
Heat treatments do not leave any lasting effects to your home, so while it is safe because it uses no chemicals, it is also quite easy to get infested if you are not careful.
How does heat treatment kill bed bugs?
Heat treatment works by raising the temperature in the house enough to cause the bed bugs’ cells to stop functioning properly. Their DNA inside their cells starts to break down. The higher the temperature in the room, the quicker the breakdown, the faster the bed bugs die.
The temperature is often maintained at over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. By sealing off all entry and exit points into the room, the bed bugs have nowhere to go to escape the heat. The heat will permeate through furniture, clothes, and mattresses so all bed bugs are vulnerable.
How effective is heat treatment in killing bed bugs?
The success rate of heat treatment on bed bugs is dependent on how well your exterminators do their job. They should be able to determine the cold spots in your room.
When heat treatment is done properly, a 100% success rate is guaranteed. A good exterminator takes their time and will make sure that all of the bed bugs in your house will die. This method is the closest to instant eradication you can get. After only six to eight hours, your house can be completely bed bug-free.
Of course, there can be factors that can affect the effectiveness of the heat treatment method.
Not all of the entry and exit points may have been sealed, allowing several bed bugs to escape to other parts of the house. The temperature was not raised high enough to kill the bed bugs. The temperature may not have been maintained for long enough, leaving some cold spots unaffected. And maybe the items you removed from the room had bed bugs on them and ended up affecting other parts of your house.
What are the advantages of heat treatment?
Heat treatment works instantly
Compared to other bed bug treatments that require days or weeks to take effect, heat treatment’s effects are instant.
When you opt for a method of bed bug control that needs a long time to be effective, you are giving the bed bugs more time to reproduce and to spread throughout your house.
With heat treatment, the moment a bed bug is exposed to the elevated temperature, they are killed. It stops the spread of the infestation dead in its tracks.
All life stages of bed bugs are killed
Some treatment methods can be effective but only when the substance physically touches the bed bug. But what about bed bugs and bed bug eggs that are hidden in hard to reach places? These types of treatments will need several applications to achieve complete eradication.
With heat treatment, once the optimal temperature is reached in all rooms of the house, every bed bug from eggs, nymphs, and adults are instantly killed.
Heat penetrates everything
Bed bug contact killers are effective on the bed bugs that you can see out and about, but there are others that are hiding in the cracks on your walls and furniture, as well as underneath your mattress and box spring. These hidden bed bugs and eggs are not going to be affected by pesticide sprays.
With heat treatment, when the industrial heaters reach the ideal temperature, the heat will be felt equally throughout every surface. It will permeate inside your mattress and through all your furniture. There is no escape for the bed bugs.
Bed bugs cannot develop a tolerance to heat
Over the decades, bed bugs have been observed to very quickly adapt to the pesticides available in the market. Pesticides that were effective 20 years ago will no longer kill the bed bugs of today. Bed bugs evolve so fast that they develop a tolerance to pesticides within a matter of years.
What has remained a constant vulnerability of the bed bug is heat. Bed bugs from a hundred years ago will die from heat just as quickly as bed bugs from today would.
There are no chemicals involved
Probably the most appealing aspect of heat treatment is the fact that this method does not use any chemicals whatsoever. The logic is very simple, raise the temperature enough to kill the bed bugs. There will be no chemical residue in your house after the procedure so you will not have to worry about it endangering your health.
If a bed bug heat treatment method is done properly by professionals, the success rate will be 100%.
Heat treatment is still the most effective method of bed bug eradication that does not use chemicals and will kill all life stages of the bed bug.
It can be quite pricey, but if you want to be assured that all the bed bugs are dead after a treatment, this is the way to go.
Image: istockphoto.com / Prashant Chauhan